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I just need a little clarification. I made a GPX track file and opened it in JOSM and then downloaded the corresponding OSM data.

Here is where I'm confused...

Am I supposed to "merge" my GPX track into the OSM data -- OR -- am I supposed to use my GPX track as a visual reference and draw nodes (trace) into the OSM data?

asked 19 Nov '11, 09:06

Pilot%20Guy's gravatar image

Pilot Guy
accept rate: 0%

You can do both:

  • preprocess your GPX track (reduce number of nodes and any problems that occured during recording) and then automatically turn it in to a way (supported at least by JOSM and Potlatch)


  • manually draw a way over your track (and potentially others that have already been uploaded)

The later is far preferrable and with a bit of practice just as fast and gives better results. In particular you can interpolate the "true" position of the way by using multiple tracks instead of just using one which in general will have large errors.


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answered 19 Nov '11, 09:17

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 19 Nov '11, 09:20


What Simon mentions is that the GPS traces are never completely accurate. (Many people believe GPS is always very accurate, this is not true). Using multiple traces and estimating an average position creates a much better result. If you upload your GPX traces you can share yours with other people in the same area or ones you made on another day, to improve the overall result. Drawing over the multiple traces is therefore the best way.

(19 Nov '11, 16:56) ChrisH

I always do the second of those. I don't really trust GPS traces to be accurate. Your memory of the event can also be very important to resolve glitches.

(03 Dec '11, 10:59) RobChafer

The second choice is better: If you convert your track into a way, you anyway have to connect it manually to already existing roadways. This also takes time. So manually trace it right from the start, the chances to forget connecting nodes, as well as creating duplicate geometry, are less.

(05 Dec '11, 06:03) moszkva ter

Have you read the beginners guide and watched the video tutorials they could be a great help.Its good to upload the trace as others can use it to get a good average trace as most traces have some small and often larger errors. Using your knowledge gained when making your trace, and using the other traces together with the bing background (if available) will give the best results when you plot the nodes and make the ways. good luck

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answered 21 Nov '11, 17:57

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

Preferably draw them manually. A tool to merge multiple tracks into one average, more precise, would be nice, but I do not know about one. See this related question:

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answered 03 Dec '11, 13:03

LM_1's gravatar image

accept rate: 10%

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question asked: 19 Nov '11, 09:06

question was seen: 5,370 times

last updated: 05 Dec '11, 06:03

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum